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Background 

The food garden project is a collaborative initiative between the Railton Foundation Swellendam, the Swellendam Hospital, COMMCOR (Correctional Services) and Pietie Uys and is in line with one of our key objectives to promote cooperation between stakeholders and the community. The main aim of the initiative is to provide a percentage of the yield to the hospital kitchen and to provide food security to the needy. The project commenced late in 2015 and the Foundation took responsibility for project management and implementation. Mr Gollie Kees has been appointed to oversee the garden. This garden should eventually also becomes a nursery to provide seedlings to gardens situated in the community.

With our Mandela Day 2016 celebrations, we were inundated with requests from individuals, groups, institutions and interested parties in the agricultural sector who wanted to make a contribution at the garden. More than 100 people physically helped on 18 July 2016 to prepare a bigger piece of land to expand the garden. Offers were also received for training of participants and donations of seeds, compost, seedlings, trees and etcetera.

We started a second garden at the COMMCOR offices in collaboration with COMMCOR (Community Correctional Services). Pietie Uys also assist us and provided hands on training. This garden is supported by the Agricultural Division of Correctional Services and Railton Foundation appointed a supervisor at the garden. Everything is progressing very well and we managed to harvest vegetables already and supply 5 feeding schemes.

We are now in consultation with interested parties to develop community gardens at private homes and schools in Railton.